Easter Roller Coaster

Have you ever been on a roller coaster? You queue for what seems like eternity to be strapped into a roller coastertight space. Then, along with your fellow thrill seekers you are steadily propelled up a steep slope, climbing higher and higher. As you reach the top you catch a glimpse of what is about to follow. Seconds later you are hurtling into oblivion, or so it seems. You close your eyes, scream, shout, vowing never to do it again. You reach the level and catch your breath before the ride is repeated and you’re off again.

Terrifying? Absolutely. Wonderful? Completely.

As you get off, you may stumble and stagger but you quickly recount just how exciting the ride was and how you wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Terrifying? Absolutely. Wonderful? Completely. Of course, there are no roller coasters in the Easter story, or indeed in the rest of the Bible. But there were some women who went on a kind of roller coaster ride with Jesus.

Rollercoaster Ride with Jesus

These were the women who joined forces with him. They followed him around from village to village, town to town. They saw the highs and they were there at the lows. When Jesus was healing the sick and helping the poor and needy they were there too. Feeding the hungry and homeless. Offering a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on to the widows or to those damaged by prostitution. They saw lives transformed and people set free, day in, day out. They followed close by when Jesus rode into Jerusalem. Their hearts must have been filled with joy at the reception he got. They didn’t want to be anywhere else. Life with Jesus was exhilarating, exciting, ground breaking. But it was also terrifying.

Off the Rails…

The reception turned sour. Jesus, the man they loved and followed so diligently was now hated. And, on that Good Friday they must have thought that the ride had literally gone off the rails. It had ended in the worst possible way. Jesus was dead. They had been thrown off. It was over. And now they feared for their lives. I love those women. Mary, Salome, Joanna and others. They don’t get much of a mention in the Bible. Yet they were around Jesus as much as the disciples. Rolling their sleeves up, getting their hands dirty and quietly changing the world around them.

Women of Influence.

Even though their world had fallen apart so dramatically they remained devoted to Jesus. Despite the threat to their own personal safety they carried out their duties and took the spices to prepare his body for burial. And so it was to them, that Jesus first appeared. The women. These women. As they hurried away from the empty tomb on that first Easter Sunday morning, the Bible says they were “afraid yet filled with joy” (There’s that roller coaster feeling again.) The ride hadn’t stopped. It hadn’t been derailed. These women had seen Jesus and, though they felt great fear, their joy was greater, Jesus had risen. This Easter, let’s be like those first Women of Influence. Let’s ask God to use us to be a force for change and transformation in the lives of the people we meet. May our joy in knowing Jesus always be greater than any fears we may have.

Want to meet like-minded women, and work on being a Woman of Influence? Then please come and join our next Women of Influence Retreat .

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